Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Break 2015: Mama Monk and family visit Houston.

Hey everyone!

It has been MONTHS since my last post! I think this is a good one to update with. 

During Spring Break this year, my mom, brother, and nephew were able to come to Houston and visit us!

Now, you're probably wondering why the title says "Mama Monk.." Well, that's my mom's nickname. She is like detective Monk. And she's the Mama. Therefore, Mama Monk. HA.

Our trip consisted of eating, exploring, eating, and more eating. You know we love to eat!

When they first arrived, we decided to take them to our all time favorite Thai Restaurant Vieng Thai. Just remember that my family is from a small town in Arkansas, so they don't normally venture out when it comes to food. This was their first time trying authentic Thai food!

These are some of our favorite dishes to order from here. We love this place so much that we come as often as once a week!
 This is the spicy catfish nuggets.

 Thai Basil fried rice.

 On the left we have Garlic Chicken. This was my mom's favorite dish. On the right we have Thai Chicken Wings. This was my nephew Gabe's favorite dish.
 Chandler cleaning up after dinner... As most of you know, he is tube fed, so he isn't actually cleaning up. He liked the feeling of the napkin around his mouth. :)

I was worried that they wouldn't enjoy the food, since they aren't used to eating eat. I'm glad they liked it! But after a while, Gabe said it made his stomach "feel weird". LOL!

After the Thai food, we took them to one of our favorite Boba places called Honeybee
 Gabe, my creepy face, and Eyen waiting in line.

We ordered the White Chocolate Mocha Milk Tea with Honey Boba and Egg Pudding. YES, IT'S FANTASTIC! We always order it.We ordered my mom a Chocolate Mocha with Coffee Jelly. She liked it, but she has texture issues, so she didn't like the jelly. 
 Ate Cassie, myself, Eyen, Gabe, Eo, and Kim! Gabe really enjoyed his drink, also!

 Eo being a creeper.
 Gabe and I. He's only 13, but he's very mature for his age!

 All of us enjoying our drink!
 We had to get air in my mom's tire, and we found this randomly by the air pump. The crazy thing is, we didn't even notice it at first! Creepy...

The next day, we decided to catch the last day of the Houston Livestock and Rodeo. It was PACKED! There were so many people there, it was uncomfortable. But, we still managed to have fun!

We had fried twinkies for the first time! It was AWESOME! Gabe especially loved it. 

 Us just gathered around eating and talking.

 This is Eyen's favorite food at the rodeo. The twister potato. My mom's had a sausage in the middle!

 Yummy! Eyen had a fried red velvet cupcake. Very good!
 The powdered sugar was EVERYWHERE!

 Dippin' Dots! Gabe really liked these, too.
 We're weird.

Family selfies.

 Gabe decided he wanted to ride the slingshot. It was fun! We had to wait almost an hour just to do it, but it was fun!

 Almost our turn!
 The sheep for mutton bustin'! It was cute to watch.
 Some photos of us with the rodeo in the background!
 Eyen really took some great shots of the grounds.

We had fun at the rodeo. We just wish it wasn't as crowded as it was. Lucky for us, when someone was leaving, they gave us a booklet with coupons in it! We got free food and drinks. It was a good time!

The next day, we decided to FINALLY visit NASA! "Houston, we have a problem!" I am so glad we did. We always talked about how we live in Houston and have never visited. IT. WAS. AWESOME!

This is a new attraction they are working on. It isn't currently "open", but as you can still it's still neat.

It's a space shuttle on the back of a plane. Just in case you weren't sure. :)
Gabe and I.
This is at the entrance of NASA.

These are some photos on the way to NASA! We were excited. And Chandler was sitting like a big boy!

Playing around with the Ripley's Believe It or Not Exhibit inside.
Gabe with a meteorite.

Apollo replica.

They have 2 different tours you can take. We decided to visit the master control room! You have to ride a trolley to get there. It was a really pretty countryside view on the way there.

These are some historic photos inside the control center.
A few more historic photos and artifacts.

Historic Mission Control!
These are some photos inside the stairwell on the way up.

Selfie with our long hair. ha

Gabe with the astronauts.
Here it is!!!
All Gabe could talk about was saying "Houston we have a problem." in the control room. But as soon as it was time to do it, he tried to chicken out! I had to bribe him with a dollar! haha

Control room selfies!

They had some really cool rockets and things to take photos with. It was really neat.

We were able to see an actual space shuttle. Obviously I know that they are big... But I did not realize how BIG they actually are until you see it in person. We were all in awe. It really was hard to fathom.

Of course we needed some photos with it.

As you can see, it's in different sections. I felt like it made it easier to understand which pieces come off first after blastoff.

There it is!

This is the inside of the top piece.
I tried to use Gabe as a measurement, so you could see how big it is. haha
Here you can kind of see how big it is.

More photos of the side.

The photo on the left is of the rocket blasting off.

These are the rockets we took photos in front of earlier.
This is an actual piece of the moon! And they let you touch it.

Looking around at some of the cool artifacts. Eyen wanted to push all the buttons on the machine. haha
The walls are covered with cool information.

This isn't a real person. But it looked real!

This was a demonstration of what it's like on the space shuttle in space.


Some space suits and things.

Eyen! Even though you can barely see her face.
I loved this!

This is kind of like the evolution of space suits. It was cool.

Some one actually wore these suits in space! Even the Hawaiian shirt!
Girl Power!

A few more suits.

While Eyen and Gabe was in a simulator, my mom, Chandler, and I discovered the U.S.S Enterprise! haha. AWESOME!

He wanted to make his dad jealous! lol
Gabe is on the left. The rest are more space suits. There were a lot of space suits.

One was hanging from the ceiling!

Here is the robonaut again!

This is what it looks like inside the space shuttle! Where they eat and do everything.

Unfortunately, we were rushed because we ran out of time. I was able to snap some photos before we left.

Mom and Chandler with Bumblebee! On the right is Gabe and Eyen in the simulator! They really liked it. But it does actually spin you upside down, so it shook them up a bit.

You can actually go inside of here, but since we ran out of time, we didn't get a chance to.

Of course I had to play with this again before we left.
This is a camel made out of toys! All toys! Eyen wants it for our house! haha.

NASA was a really great experience. I'm SO GLAD we decided to go. My only suggestion would be to get there in the morning, so you will have more time to do everything. We arrived around 1 p.m. and only went on 1 tour. Plus, we rushed through a lot of the other things. We went on a weekday, and it wasn't packed.

After NASA, we decided to go to Kemah Boardwalk since it's very close. Gabe loves roller coasters, so we made sure to get an unlimited wristband!

 A cool police car at the entrance.
 A fountain. You can actually drive the boats in the water.
 The Ferris Wheel!
 A view of the water.

 Gabe trying the hurricane machine! I asked him how it was. His reply- "windy." haha
 The Boardwalk Bullet! It's their wooden rollercoaster. It was super fun!

 This is my least favorite ride. UGH!

 Drop Zone! It was fun! It's neat because it's very near the water.

This ride was kind of boring. It swings you back and forth. 

 We decided to feed some fish.. But it was more like feeding the birds. They would catch the food before it even hit the water!

 Yeah it was all fun and everything.

 Until they got way too close!!! They scared me to death! If you can't tell. haha

We decided to have pizza for dinner. Half ham and pineapple, half shrimp scampi! The shrimp scampi was really good. On the right, we rode a twisty ride. It was fun. 
 Cool car.
Since we don't have Jack in the Box where we are from, we had to make sure they try their shakes. We love their chocolate shake!

 I really like this picture. It looks like the seagull is about to get Gabe.

Kemah was definitely fun. I wish that it had more rides, but it is just a boardwalk. The wooden roller coaster is so much fun!  We always have fun when we come here

Next are just some random pics from places we tried while they were visiting!

 Their first time at Whataburger! They liked it!

 Gabe tried Mangonada, a Mexican candy sno cone. He didn't like it at all. HAHA

Of course we had to take them to Jollibee, Filipino fast food!

 I was really excited for them to try it!
 Family time! We had the chicken and spaghetti. Gabe liked it, but he said his mom's spaghetti is better. Of course, mom's spaghetti is always better! :) Mom liked the chicken. The skin was very crispy.

 Halo-Halo time! It's a Filipino dessert. Halo-Halo translates to "mix-mix". You mix all the ingredients together! They couldn't get over the fact that it has beans in it. lol


For dinner, we took them to a Chinese Buffet for Ate Cassie's birthday. I think they appreciated that we didn't make them try anymore new food. lol.

 Since Ate is Vegan, we couldn't get her a cake, so we put candles in fruit to sing Happy Birthday!

That night, we took them to Dave and Busters since we don't have that either. Gabe had a field day! He loved it. We had to teach him that you play games that gives you tickets instead of playing the arcade games. More tickets means more prizes! But he just wanted to play guitar hero. haha

 They played Mario Cart. Gabe won! I love the pics. lol

 My mom played Let's Make a Deal, and she won the Jackpot on her first time!!! We play like 5 times and never win! She's lucky.

They played Mario Cart again, only this time Kim won!

 The fruits of his labor. He loved all of his prizes.

Here you can see his prizes. He got some funny glasses, a crazy Mohawk, and a huge ball.  Plus some candy! I'm glad he liked it.

 Here's Chandler resting after a very long vacation! I love when he smiles!

I'm so glad they were able to make the trip down to visit. It was the first time my mom has came to our house. I hope she will get to come back sometime soon!

My next blog will be written from the Philippines! Eyen and I will be traveling for the next 2 months, so you can expect some exciting updates! We will be visiting Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and more!

Stay tuned!